SANTA CLARITA -- The Orange Coast College men's basketball team wrapped up nonconference play with a thrilling 79-78 win over Ohlone College on Saturday night at the College of the Canyons Men's Basketball Tournament.
For the Renegades (2-12), Aidan Graham led the way with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Markel Wells added 19 points and 12 rebounds.
OCC led through the first half and carried a 14-point advantage (45-31) into the opening minutes of the second half before Ohlone made its move. The Renegades ripped off a 17-4 run to pull to within a point at 49-48. Then, OCC responded with a 19-9 run of its own and led, 68-57 with 8:32 remaining.
But, over the next seven minutes, Ohlone clawed back and finally drew even with the Pirates at 71 with 1:22 left, capping off a 14-3 Renegades run.
Keo Chun quickly responded for the Pirates with a made layup, putting OCC back in front, 73-71.
From there, both teams traded blows into the final seconds of the game. A tip-in by Wells evened the score at 78, but on OCC's next possession, Woods was fouled and sent to the free-throw line, where he calmly drained the first attempt to put the Pirates up, 79-78. He missed his second attempt and Ohlone's final 3-point attempt missed its mark, giving the Coast the hard-earned victory.
OCC will kick off Orange Empire Conference play at Riverside City College on Friday afternoon, beginning at 2 p.m. OCC's next home game will be on Wednesday, Jan. 8 against Saddleback, beginning at 7 p.m.